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CTV Host Celebrates 900th Broadcast

Virtually every Friday afternoon for the past 15 years, Bill McCaffrey heads to the studio at CTV in Largo to tape an episode of his weekly talk show, "Inside Sports." Station manager Curtis Crutchfield insists that on those days there is generally a certain buzz in the air.

Friday afternoon on March 17th, McCaffrey taped the 900th episode of "Inside Sports" and CTV celebrated the occasion by having its employees and the show's guests wear green T-shirts commemorating both the milestone and St Patrick's Day. McCaffrey had time for four guests on his 900th show, including Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who had brought a proclamation from Annapolis signed by Steele, Gov. Robert Ehrlich and Secretary of State Mary Kane.

Over the past 15 years, McCaffrey has had guests from every facet of local sports on his show. During the breaks of last Friday's show, CTV showed numerous clips with McCaffrey on set with guests ranging from former heavyweight champion, Riddick Bowe and his manager Rock Newman, to a pair of wrestlers apparently upset with his comments.

"Looking back on it, I still can't believe we got past 200 shows," said McCaffrey. "It's been a great ride. I've had boxers, football players, coaches, reporters, politicians, you name it. We used to tape two shows each week, initially. But we've been doing one each week for a while now. I don't know if I'll be around for the 1,000th episode."

Over the past 10 years, David Barnes has directed the show and enjoyed every minute along the way. Barnes, an Eleanor Roosevelt High and University of Maryland graduate who still resides in Greenbelt, began working at the station as a volunteer. Barnes has been with the station on a full-time basis for more than a decade and admits being associated with McCaffrey's show is one of his weekly highlights.

"The one thing that I enjoy most about the show is hearing how well Bill interacts with his guests," Barnes said. "It's not like the only thing they can talk about is sports. Bill seems to have a good grasp of so many topics and his guests generally enjoy being on the show and taking part in the interviews. Whatever topic they discuss, there always seems to be an instant bond between Bill and his guest."

Crutchfield, a Northwestern graduate who directs and produces the news segment that runs every day live at 4:30 p.m., says Friday afternoons at the station are different than most days. Crutchfield believes McCaffrey's presence and the arrival of his guests adds a certain zest to the atmosphere.

"I think most of the people that work here look forward to Friday afternoon," Crutchfield said. "They know that Bill will be here to tape a show and that he will also have some guests from the sports world in the studio. The one thing that has made the show so successful is that Bill genuinely cares so much about the topics that he's discussing and the people that come onto the set know that he cares. He's covered local teams that are far outside the larger media scope."

Steele noted that McCaffrey and "Inside Sports" have become local institutions. "Bill has become one of the most recognizable sports personalities in the area," said Steele, who spoke about his days as a fencer at Johns Hopkins on the show. "His involvement in the local community speaks volumes about his work and dedication."

2006 The Gazette

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